Try to never bring up a problem without a solution. That’s a theme in the Coeur office. Sure it feels good to take the stage for a righteous rant from time to time, but the expectation is that once it’s over the conversation turns to solutions.
The vast majority of the time, we think/hope we practice what we preach. Problem: Many women want to get into endurance sports but don’t know how. Potential Solution: Create a community of ambassadors and customers then ask them to draw other women into this wonderful lifestyle.
Problem: Women are requesting longer inseams. Solution: Meet our line of eight inch tri shorts (yes...that was a gratuitous plug).
Unfortunately, there’s a big problem that seems to be beyond our reach. To put it bluntly, we’re talking about doping. On this topic, we don’t have an answer. What we do know is that it must be almost unbearable for an athlete to train and race clean and then see her spot on the podium taken by someone who has a different moral framework.
We recently read an ESPN article about Olympic Runner Shannon Rowberry. Shannon raced the 1,500 meter distance at the 2012 Olympics. Despite coming into the race well prepared, Rowberry finished in sixth place and out of the medals. Then, over time, four of the six that finished in front of her were linked to performance enhancing drug use. It’s beyond our ability to comprehend how painful that must have been.
What we can comprehend is that every time someone cheats, a tiny piece is carved out of the foundation of running, biking, swimming, and triathlon. All sports we love. Carve enough pieces out and eventually, the structure falls.
That’s why, as small as we are, we know we must do something to promote change. We know we alone can’t solve the problem, but that’s not going to stop us from celebrating (and donating to) the organizations on the front lines. While there are many organizations and individuals doing their part, we wanted to highlight two in particular. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and The Clean Sport Collective.
USADA is the anti-doping organization in the U.S. and has oversight for a number of events including the Olympics and the Paralympics.
To a certain extent, they’re known as the people who catch dopers, but they also try to prevent the abuse by providing educational resources. One such resource is their Supplement 411 page. This section of their website contains a list of supplements that can be purchased over the counter, but that may (for whatever reason), contain a banned substance. If you’re using any type of supplement, it’s worth looking at this page. The site makes it clear that ultimately, it’s up to the athlete to be responsible for what’s in their system, but using a supplement listed may be asking for trouble.
The USADA site contains a number of other resources and we wanted to take a moment and thank them for their work and encourage people to take a look at the site.
We’ve talked about the Clean Sport Collective in a previous post, but we are so onboard with their mission, that we want to mention them again.
The collective is fairly new and we are in love with the statement on their brand page. It says:
“We are in this together. The more voices that speak in unity, the stronger we are. Let’s lift up clean athletes. Let’s bring awareness to the detrimental reach that one athlete choosing to dope can have on clean athletes, brands and support systems.”
The team at the Clean Sport Collective is raising awareness of the issue of doping and encouraging people to race clean. While you may think they are over matched when going up against individuals who will win at any cost and state sponsored doping programs, we know how powerful they can become with your help. The purity of their message combined with the voices of their membership base gives them more than a fighting chance to win. We hope you'll consider taking the clean sport pledge.
We'll paraphrase something we read on the Clean Sport site. These sports all belong to you and we know you love them as much as we do. They’re not owned by the brands, or the events, or by the mega star athletes. And that’s a good thing, because, we believe that people take care of the things they love. We also know that when a group of determined women put their mind to something, anything is possible.
Happy Training and Racing
Your friends at Coeur